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Lighting some Chanukah Light December 21, 2008

Posted by makingyourdashcount in assisted living, Holidays.

Anna and I went to light candles tonight with the Jewish residents at Dad’s assisted living facility. One of the other residents lived in assisted living like Dad and two in “reminiscence,” where bodies outlive minds. We came with cookies, prayers and the story of Chanukah in a convenient eight parts. Reading the first of the eight installments was emotional, as I saw my father’s future in the blank stares of the others. My emotions were evident as I read. It was difficult. Then it came time for the prayers.

I asked Dad to lead them. He read the first blessing. I don’t think I had ever heard the Chanukah blessings read before and it hit me that I needed to chant them for the residents, so Anna and I started. I wanted them to at least hear the blessings so it would feel like Chanukah.

First Dad joined, then each of the other residents followed. Residents who could barely exchange a word or two in greeting went years back in their minds and found the blessings. Their caregiver shed more than a tear, also. I’m not sure I ever had had an experience like that. Watching their faces and listening to them sing was a magnificent warm gift this cold first night. As we left the glow of the electric menorah, we knew we had done something very special this first night.


1. alison - December 22, 2008

SO beautiful Betsey! I did the same thing today! I organized a program at my shul for families. We decorated mugs and put in a tea bag, filled our own doughnuts and made cards with melted crayons. We brought our packets to one of the nursing homes here and we sang and smiled and lit candles and brought joy to them. No other gift could have fit so well. love you!

2. Aunt Sherry - December 22, 2008

That was so beautiful, Betsey…I know you were happy that you decided to go and make it special for Herb and the residents..I love you..xxxo

3. Beth - December 22, 2008

tears in my eyes. couldn’t help think of yesterday, when at 5:18, WCBE played the Chanukah blessings – right in the middle of the Christmas music. A moment in time for those who need to hear the chanting. Glad you and Anna could be there for those who needed to hear the chanting. Hope the lights of Chanukah burn brightly for all of you this week!

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